|The Role of Predation Threat in the Development of Antipredator Behavior|
|Christina Bardjis, Dale Stevens II, Melissa Graham, Jivanna Mason, Susan Foster, John Baker. Clark University, Worcester, MA, United States
A growing concern in conservation is the impact of invasive predatory species on native populations. The interaction between novel predators and native populations is important due to its potential to alter evolutionary trajectories of prey behavior. Predatory Northern Pike, Esox lucius, have invaded Alaskan freshwater lakes to which they are not native. Native to these lakes are populations of Threespine Stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, which serve as prey for pike. Previous research comparing wild and lab-reared stickleback from pike-invaded lakes revealed differences in antipredator behavioral responses. In this study, we test whether these behavioral patterns are the result of differing developmental environments, specifically developmental stress related to threat of predation. In the laboratory we reared fish from both pike-invaded and pike-na´ve lakes under two environmental conditions: with and without simulated predation throughout development. We discuss plastic differences in antipredator behaviors resulting from developmental stress. Additionally, we highlight the interaction between population experience with a novel predator and plastic developmental trajectories.